Using Data to Find the Story: Covering Race, Politics and More in Chicago

About this product

With support from the McCormick Foundation, a day-long workshop about best practices in data visualization.


SKU: MCCMK01-18 Categories: ,


This program is limited to journalists whose work primarily focuses on the Chicago area.

Chicago is the City of Broad Shoulders and even broader data sets. How can you make sense of all the public information about geographic boundaries, income brackets, level of education and more? What does the data reveal about how race and class intersect — and diverge?

Poynter — with support from the McCormick Foundation — is presenting a day-long workshop about best practices in data visualization led by Matt Stiles, a data journalist at the Los Angeles Times. Kameel Stanley, “We Live Here” podcast co-host, will join Stiles to share how she helped create a searchable database to show the public how Missouri schools handled K-12 suspension.


Tuition for this one-day workshop is $25.  Some scholarships are available.

What Will I Learn?

  • Use numbers to tell your stories in compelling ways
  • Use the easiest (and most budget-friendly) tools to sort through and interpret data
  • Create a database using public records, even if you have few resources
  • Unearth story ideas that could affect the upcoming Chicago municipal election
  • Find new resources and data specific to Chicago

Who Should Attend?

This program is limited to journalists whose work primarily focuses on the Chicago area.

Journalists who are interested in learning how to use quantifiable information to deepen audience understanding of their stories will benefit.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. No letter of recommendation or reference is required. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interests and basic demographic information.


Subject to change. Updated Oct. 3, 2018.

9 a.m. — Welcome remarks
9:15 a.m. — Data visualization tools
10:15 a.m. — Best practices in data visualization
10:45 a.m.  — Break
11 a.m. — “We Live Here” database: How’d they do that?
12 p.m. — Lunch (included in tuition)
1 p.m. — Crunching data from Chicago
3:30 p.m. — Break
3:45 p.m. — Taking it home: What story ideas emerged from data sets
5 p.m. — Farewells


Kameel Stanley

Podcast Producer
St. Louis Public Radio


Matt Stiles

Reporter and Data Journalist
Los Angeles Times


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